A rainy night didn't prevent rising reggae star Damian Marley from providing sparks in last night's opening set at SummerStage in Central Park. With umbrellas in the air, the youngest Marley brother mixed originals and his father's tunes in an hour-long performance. I arrived just as he embarked on a Marley medley - Crazy Baldheads > War > No More Trouble.
He finished with songs from his two Grammy-winning albums: In 2 Deep, It Was Written, Road to Zion and his 2006 hit, Welcome to Jamrock. Unlike his more traditional older brothers Ziggy and Stephen, Damian merges roots and dancehall styles. He's thoroughly conscious and clearly has leapt to the top of the Marley family tree.
Backstage after his show, Damian signed the June '06 HIGH TIMES issue that featured him on the cover and uttered the kind words, "Give thanks," when a spliff was deposited in his palm.
Harper's 2-and-1/2-hour-long set dragged at times, but peaked with his ganja classic, Burn One Down.